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Specialist - Principal Planner (Development Management) (x3)

Salary: Grade 8 - £40,876 to £44,863

Job Type: Permanent

Hours 37

Closing Date:

Job ref: 1877


We are seeking 3 enthusiastic and motivated Principal Planners to join our forward thinking and dynamic Development Management department. We are an ambitious authority looking to deliver growth and provide innovative and high quality development.

 A key part of these principal roles will be supporting the Lead Specialist whilst mentoring and supporting other team members, and dealing with complex major applications, providing opportunities to masterplan our key market towns. You will lead at committee meetings and represent the authority at planning appeals.     

We are looking for talented applicants who can demonstrate an adaptable and flexible approach, coupled with an ability to work on your own initiative. You will need to be organised and self-motivated but also a committed team player.

Flexible working from home/office, as and when suits you and the business. This could include a compressed working week, based on outcomes.

If you would like to discuss this post before applying please contact Barry James, Interim Planning Lead,


  • Generous annual leave allowance, with the ability to purchase up to 12 additional days leave
  • Local Government Pension Scheme with employer contribution
  • Essential car user allowance
  • Agile working practices
  • Discounts at local gyms and country parks
  • Health cash plan
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Award scheme

 My South Somerset Opportunities               

Here at South Somerset District Council we have ambition; ambition for the organisation to be the best, ambition for our staff to develop and fulfill their potential, and ambition about what we can achieve to improve the communities we serve.

This is a great time to join us as we are moving at pace transforming the way we deliver services to our communities.

 Why work at SSDC as a Principal Planner (Development Management)?

We want to be a very good local authority planning service. There are so many reasons to work at SSDC, we have a fantastic natural environment, rich built heritage and thriving business community. Allied to this are the Council’s own Commercial and Regeneration aspirations and progressive Corporate and Local Plans. This means the variety of work a planning specialist will be involved with is exciting, challenging and rewarding”.


We support your ongoing training needs and career development, whether that is via RTPI courses, further education or informal in-house CPD and mentoring, we invest in staff and realise their potential.

One team member said, 

“I joined SSDC 6 years ago as a Planning Assistant and they supported me to undertake a post-graduate degree which I have now completed. As a result of that qualification and my ongoing performance I was promoted to Development Management Specialist and now I am involved in varied complex applications which I really enjoy.”

As a Council we want to celebrate successes and promote the role and importance of planning.

If you want a challenge, like working as part of a team and have a passion for shaping development and seeing the results of your work then SSDC is the place for you.

We are…

The Council receives circa 2000 applications per year. Covering an area of 370 square miles South Somerset has rural areas, vibrant towns and a network of market towns. South Somerset District Council serves approximately 72,000 households across 121 parishes. Our work therefore encompasses rural and urban planning, residential, retail, commercial and agricultural development.

A Development Management Specialist performs the role most identifiable historically as a Planning Officer. However, the role now has a greater relationship and synergy with Case Officers who support all casework. Emerging technology and digital systems will remove administrative processes meaning a Development Management Specialist can concentrate on the things they enjoy most and are most skilled in.

Regeneration Projects…

The Council is undertaking ambitious Regeneration projects in our larger settlements of Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton. A Development Management Specialist works as part of a multidisciplinary team to shape the development, providing key professional input, assuming the role of critical friend and promoting the very best in design and sustainability.  

A new beginning

South Somerset is one of the largest and most fascinating local authorities in the country. It enjoys a thriving diverse economy and is home to world leading, high tech aerospace, engineering and manufacturing businesses. A strong agricultural sector drives world renowned food and drink production and tourism.

South Somerset District Council is undergoing a significant transformation project which is changing our approach, staffing structure and even office space.

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